Ahmad Jamal

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Ahmad Jamal

2019 Sheldon Gala

Saturday, March 30, 2019 @ 8:30 PM

Celebrated pianist-composer Ahmad Jamal is a jazz legend, known for his innovative rhythms, colorful voicing and elegant dynamics. An NEA Jazz Master and 2017 Grammy® Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Jamal has been a bright star on the jazz scene for over six decades, influencing generations of artists with his fresh, imaginative sounds.

A native of Pittsburgh, Jamal began playing the piano at age 3, and was composing and orchestrating at 10 years of age, performing works by Franz Liszt and exploring the music of Duke Ellington, Art Tatum, Nat Cole, Erroll Garner, and a host of others, learning the repertoire that comprises the American Song Book. He left home at the request of the George Hudson Orchestra (which included Clark Terry and orchestrator Ernie Wilkins) at the age of 17 and began touring the country. He formed his own group in 1951 and with the help of John Hammond started his recording career with Okeh Records. That career has continued for over six decades and has resulted in one of the most successful recordings in the history of instrumental music, Live at The Pershing: But Not for Me. It was used by Clint Eastwood in movie The Bridges of Madison County and was featured prominently in The Wolf of Wall Street.

Ahmad Jamal has been the recipient of numerous awards, including honors from the French government, Malaysia, and a Doctor of Music, Honoris Causa from the New England Conservatory of Music, which reads: “Ahmad Jamal, Jazz pianist, one of foremost leaders of small ensembles. An innovative great, who drew from and influenced idioms from the big band era to bebop to cool jazz to electronic styles. An American Jazz Master who inspired such important figures as Miles Davis, McCoy Tyner and Herbie Hancock. Renowned for his exquisite touch, profound grace, and mercurial improvisational choices. For seven decades he’s been sharing his inimitable and unique voice with jazz lovers the world over.”

Jamal’s career spans many eras of the art form—big band, the Parker/Gillespie era, the electronic age, and more—and he is one of the most sampled composers and recording artists in the world. He is still recording and producing young artists. His latest release is Marseille, available on the Harmonia Mundi label. Jamal Plays Jamal is also available, which can be purchased from his website,

Ahmad Jamal has been a Steinway Artist for over a half century.

Proceeds benefit the concerts, gallery exhibitions and educational programs of the Sheldon Concert Hall and Art Galleries.

This very special evening is co-chaired by Dr. Art and Belinda McCoy, and Jim and Mindy Watson.

Underwritten by the Steward Family Foundation and World Wide Technology, Inc.

Ticket Prices

$50 orchestra
$45 front balcony
$40 rear balcony

Gold Patron tickets start at $500 and include pre-concert cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, dinner, preferred concert seating, dessert reception, complimentary valet parking and a tax deduction.

Sponsorships start at $5,000 and include Gala patron tickets and benefits.

Call The Sheldon's Development Department at 314.533.9900.

Related Websites

Ahmad Jamal

Single Tickets